What are thieves looking for in your car?


Most thieves are opportunistic.  They will see something in a car and if the car is unlocked or there is no one around – in other words the risk of being caught is low –  they will seize the chance to take whatever they can in the hope they can get something worthwhile.

Cars can be broken into for as little as a few dollars in loose change.  If an offender puts a good few hours into a few dollars here and there, it can really add up.

In the meantime, you have to fix a broken window, or feel like your personal space/belonging has been invaded.

Taking steps to secure your car before leaving it outside at home (which is where most car crime occurs) or parked while out can significantly reduce your chance of having your belongings stolen.

Loose change in the console

Having money visible from outside your car can also make other items in your car vulnerable to theft if a thief breaks in.

Valuables on the backseat

Before your leave your car, make sure anything valuable is hidden from view or put in the boot of your car – the less thieves can see, the less there is to steal. Making sure handbags, gym bags and electronics are out of sight can help reduce the chance of your car being broken into.

Having large blankets, jackets or towels draped on your car seats can also create an illusion that there is something valuable to be stolen from your car.

Use the boot – make sure that nothing can be seen if someone is peering into your car.

Mounted GPS Units

Having a visible GPS unit in your car may tempt a potential thief to break into your car. Even an empty GPS mounting device or suction marks on the windscreen can be enough to show a thief that there is something valuable in your car.

It’s important to hide your GPS from view, as well as any accompanied attachments while your car is unattended.

License Plates

Number plates are the most ‘popular’ item stolen from cars.  The rate of number plate theft remains high in Victoria. Not only is number plate theft a hassle for the person whose plates are stolen, stolen number plates are often used to commit further crime.

A simple way of stopping the theft of number plates is to fix one-way, anti-theft screws to your number plates. These screws are easy for you to put on but are hard for thieves to take off, making it harder for thieves to steal.

When it comes to your car – and your home – don’t tempt the opportunistic thief, make the reward look small, and the risk high.



Check out our library of articles to help you to prevent becoming a victim of crime.

This article is available for you to link to from your social media, website and e-newsletter, providing you credit Neighbourhood Watch Victoria. Please include the following text: Crime prevention information from Neighbourhood Watch Victoria.